Down the winding path, you go deep into the forest –
the dense birch trees make it so dark that only
a faint light breaks through and illuminates
the leave-strewn path.
You were told to avoid this place – a place
where corpses dangle from branches and
lay twisted on the forest floor, their faces
stuck in a final moment of eagerness to
kill a lifetime of sorrow.
Most of our country has been in some form of quarantine or social distancing for about three and a half months. I was sent home from work on March 5 because I had a sneeze. Fear was already high in the Philadelphia area. Those first eight days, I had some freedom – I still went to teach at religious school the following Sunday and Wednesday in New Jersey. I had no idea that a few days later, my entire office would be sent home, and our state would put in place a stay-at-home order.
We’re on the edge of eternity,
says the chaplain at the funeral.
He details the death of a teenager,
life screeches to a stop like he fell off
a Mongoose into a black hole in the blacktop.
Death has come knocking,
quietly at first and now with a shout
that rattles the planet –
My instincts are conflicted: for so long,
I have craved oblivion, but now that it’s here
there’s a fear that plays with the chemicals
in my broken brain.